March 2010

17 posts.

Remember to Enjoy the Trip


As I write this, I am flying over the clouds in an airplane, excited for my first-ever trip to New York.  I have heard it is a crazy and beautiful place and I can’t wait to start capturing every moment. But wait- not every moment. Too often I become obsessed with archiving my trips in photos and collecting keepsakes that I forget to just sit back and actually enjoy the moments I’m recording.  So, for this trip, I’ve made a few commandments to ensure I capture enough memories, while having a time worth scrapping.

1. Take One Picture.  Ok, maybe two, if needed. I’ve become digitally spoiled. I have a whole computer drive of thousands of the same picture with a slight variation. I take pictures because I know I can- not because it is a moment worth capturing.

Tip: Go Old School- buy a disposable camera. The quality might not be quiet as professional, but it is sufficient for snapshots. You only have a certain amount of pictures per camera to take so you will only take the absolute memory-maker shots. By not seeing the instant photo feedback like you do on a digital camera, you won’t be tempted to retake the photo until your hair and smile are absolutely perfect. Instead you will have one great photo of how the actual moment was, wild hair and all.

2. Only Collect Ticket Stubs. You don’t need the flier, brochure and napkin holder. One little ticket stub will be sufficient to bring back the memory back. Only keep things with true sentimental value. Don’t make it a mission to find stuff to keep. Instead, enjoy your trip and whatever sticks around; whether it is a sea shell or just a receipt, it will be the most memory-induced.

Tip: Take a small empty box with you. If it doesn’t fit in the box, toss it. This will help you sort out what is a real souvenir and what is trash.

3. Talk about it. When you get back, talk to someone close about your trip. Then think about what stood out in your conversation. You might be surprised what points in your trip actually stand out. Those are the moments worth scrapping. Also talk to about the trip with whoever went. They will remember things you didn’t, and visa-versa. Maybe it wasn’t the actual trip to Disneyland, but rather when you just ordered pizza and talked all night.

Tip: After talking about the trip, write it all down. Even pictures or a beautiful scrapbook page won’t bring back the details. Plus, by talking and writing about it, you will get the core essence of what made that trip special, which will help focus your scrapbook pages.

Now it is time for me to go enjoy and record my trip. I would love to hear about yours!

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Scrap Your Spring Break

One of my favorite things to scrapbook—and the thing that got me started scrapping in the first place—is traveling. And what better time to look at travel page inspiration than spring break! If you traveled to a fun destination, or even had a relaxing staycation, check out the following ideas for scrapping your vacation.

I’m still on a 4×6″ photo kick, so here is a page I made about a spring trip to Paris that I took a few years ago.

webDSC_0237SOURCES Patterned paper: BasicGrey. Sticker, journaling block: Anna Griffin. Punch: Martha Stewart Crafts. Pen: American Crafts.

Heading to the beach? Browse our selection of beach-theme pages, including this one by Contributing Editor Tracy Kyle.

Focus on the destination with travel-theme pages, such as this page by Kim Kesti.

If you’re scrapping a trip to Disney, don’t miss these Disney layouts, including this page by Tracy Miller.

Never miss your bags with these crafty luggage tags by Sande Krieger.

What tips do you have for scrapping trips? Don’t forget to share your travel pages in our gallery!

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Vacation Mini Album

I recently returned from a spring break trip to London. And because I’ve been seriously slacking at getting pictures up on Facebook (sorry, friends!), I made a quick mini album. I love this album because it’s only the most significant photos–the iconic and/or posed travel shots. It gives friends and family (and me, 20 years from now!) a quick overview of the trip.


The loud, 80s-inspired, cartoon-style is what I used to pull the entire album together. Because there is so much history behind European cities, intuition says to scrapbook it with a traditional and maybe more serious feel. In reality, London is modern and full of incredible color in everything from hit musicals to fashion choices to whatever shade or tint the London Eye (an enormous, enclosed ferris wheel) chooses to be on any given night. I wanted to capture that color.

page 2

Tip: Print wallet-size photos for easy mini album scrapping.

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Tip: Cut an embellishment from patterned paper (as I did with the heart) and pop it up with adhesive to distinguish it.

page 4

Tip: Use large letter stickers to ground photos and patterned-paper strips.

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Tip: Add extra details to patterned paper. I doodled swirls inside the polka dots above to enhance the album style.

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Tip: To add texture and dimension, crease a piece of ribbon and attach with glue dots.

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Tip: Cut down on wasted supplies. Layer paper scraps under a photo to draw attention to the shot.

page 8Tip: Don’t underestimate simplicity. This is one of my favorite photos from the trip. I framed the photo with a piece of ribbon and a paper strip to give it all the attention.

Speaking of travel photos … In 2 days we’re launching the “Best Vacation Photo Ever” contest. Start sorting through your snapshots and check back here on Thursday for more details!

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Friday Finds: Martha Stewart Crafts Scoring Board

IMG_4716I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical when I heard about this tool at the Crafts and Hobby Association trade show in January. I couldn’t see the need to purchase an additional tool to do something I could do with a bone folder and a ruler or the scoring blades on my rotary cutter. What I didn’t realize is that while the outcome is the same, the scoring board makes the process much easier!

At first glance, the Martha Stewart Crafts Scoring Board ($19.99) looks like a large paper trimmer that has no blade. But look a little closer and you’ll several grooves spaced 1/8” apart that allow you to get a straight, even scoring line at whatever measurement you need. In addition to making boxes and cards, you can whip out envelopes easily with the help of the envelope guide. And there are handy storage areas on the board for the bone folder and the envelope guide.

I bought my scoring board at one of my local scrapbook stores last night and have already used it to make rosettes for two projects already. It makes the process so much easier and the end result so much cleaner than my previous scoring methods, which is awesome since I’m obsessed with rosettes.


Work in progress!


Detail from another project

I’m so glad I was wrong about it! Now I’m off to make more rosettes. Have a good weekend!

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Spring Nature in Your Scrapping

Sorry Frosty- I'm so over you!Sorry, Frosty- I’m so over you!

It’s finally spring! I’m so over snowflakes, sweaters, Santa Claus, and anything red and white. I’m excited to start seeing everything come back to life- outdoors and in scrapbooking. The snow is melting and green is finally starting to show up everywhere. Now is the perfect time to take advantage of nature’s little wonders of the transition of the winter to spring seasons.

Dried Leaves

PRESS PLANTS AND FOLIAGE- Don’t wait for the flowers to blossom. I have found that dried leaves, pine needles, and other small plants can make beautiful additions to nature pages.

Here is a simple how-to:

  1. Pick/gather your plants (if you pick it fresh, try to press it ASAP to restore greater color)
  2. Lay a piece of wax paper inside a large book.
  3. Arrange the plants (making sure not to let them touch) on the wax paper.
  4. Place another piece of wax paper on top of the plants.
  5. Close the book and place something heavy (like more books) on top of them.

Wait a minimum of two weeks, then:

  1. Using tweezers to hold the plant, spray a light coat of adhesive spray to the back of the plant.
  2. Stick the plant, wherever you creatively desire, on the paper.
  3. Show it off to your friends and family!

Page theme ideas: hiking, hunting, camping, playing outside, home construction, boy or girl scouts, poems, outdoor adventures.


When the rain has you stuck inside, scrap it! It makes beautiful backgrounds for pages. Make sure to set your digital camera to the highest resolution to ensure a clear picture when enlarged for the background. Also, turn off your flash to prevent a light reflection off the window.  Then enlarge and print your picture on your own computer, or have it printed as a large “non-glossy” picture at your local photo printer.

Page theme ideas: Rainy day activities (The Cat and the Hat theme), your favorite things to do on a rainy day, why you love (or hate) the rain, memories, spiritual memoir, a day of chasing rainbows, a vacation that was moved indoors due to rain.

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And the Winner Is…

You’ve been waiting so patiently, but it’s finally time to announce the winner of our Kid on the Cover Contest! And the winner of our Kid on the Cover Contest is…wait for it…Greta Heck, whose photo of her adorable son Frankie will grace our June cover!


The issue officially goes on sale April 27, but if you want a sneak-peek of how we scrapped Greta’s super-cute image, check in here on April 8!

Congrats, Frankie and Greta!

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Scrapping Childhood Photos

A couple of weeks ago, I shared a heritage page I made using a photo I scanned last summer. Here’s another page made from a scanned photo.


SOURCES Patterned paper: Imaginisce (brown), Prima Marketing Inc. (pink, cream). Stickers: Adornit–Carolee’s Creations (journaling block), American Crafts (“lil bro”). Buttons: Jenni Bowlin Studio.

Since I don’t have any children to scrapbook (and because it’s fun for me), I’m starting to scrapbook some photos from my own childhood. I have quite a few scanned in, but there are hundreds (if not thousands) more to tackle.

As I get the photos scanned, I’m scrapping the ones that inspire me the most. Due to the sheer volume of photos spanning more than two decades, the idea of attempting to work in chronological order is terrifying. If I don’t get all the photos scrapped, it’s no big deal—I’m doing this to share some of my favorite photos and memories, not to record my entire childhood.

The trouble with scrapping childhood photos is that the memories of events surrounding the snapshot are sometimes blurry. I’ve developed two basic approaches for handling this: either journal about what thoughts/stories/emotions the photo evokes now or call my parents and get the scoop (although sometimes they don’t remember, either!).

web101344097SOURCES Software: Adobe Photoshop Elements 5. Font: Georgia Stamp Act (date) off the Internet. Digital elements: Retroactive Kit by Erica Hernandez, Monkey Do (striped paper) by the Queen of Quirk, Pitter Patter Elements (label) by Meredith Fenwick. Design: Erica Hernandez.

Erica Hernandez took the first route of journaling about the thoughts and emotions the photos evoke on this digital layout sharing several photos from her childhood. Digital pages are perfect for scrapping scanned photos, but you might have to resist the urge to touch up or enhance the older pics.

Looking for more heritage inspiration? Check out our journaling ideas. We also have tips on photo preservation, genealogy research, and how to make a family tree album.

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Pretty Paper Skirt

skirt overview2

Paper may be the most basic scrapbook supply but it’s also the most versatile. I crafted this skirt from patterned paper to put my personal twist on a Parisian-style dress form I received as a Christmas gift. It’s so easy!

What You’ll Need:

• Approximately 10 pieces of patterned paper (I bought a pack of paper to make matching easier.)
• Paper cutter or scissors
• Wide ribbon
• Glue gun


Cut strips of patterned paper in varying sizes and put aside in piles. Cut a length of ribbon that measures the circumference of the dress form “waist” plus a little extra to tie a bow. Lay the ribbon flat. Starting with the wider pieces of paper, attach strips to the ribbon using the glue gun. Create 2-3 layers of paper across the ribbon to fill in all gaps when the skirt is wrapped around the form.

Repeat these steps–cutting a length of ribbon that fits a lower section of the form–to create a layered look as shown in the photo below.

skirt close upSOURCES Patterned paper: American Crafts (purple), BasicGrey (all other). Ribbon: Michaels.

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Friday Finds: CameraBag

Greetings, scrappers! Today’s Friday Find is a program called CameraBag ($19), which applies different digital filters to your photos so they mimic different film camera styles.

As CameraBag Web site explains, “Digital cameras have replaced film for all but the most die-hard photographers, but something was lost in that transition. Before the digital era, a photographer’s choice of camera and film had nearly as much artistic impact as the subject matter. Rediscover the fading, tinting, blurring, chemical processing techniques, and ‘happy accidents’ which gave film photos life.”

There’s a version for Mac and PC, but I’ve been using the CameraBag iPhone application ($1.99). I have been fascinated by the cool effects it can apply to my iPhone photos, because as much as I love my iPhone, it is not my camera of choice. CameraBag magically transforms my phone photos into pics I’m more apt to share.

Check it out. Here’s a photo I took on the Sea to Sky Highway in British Columbia out the car windshield—not the best conditions for stellar photos.


Now here it is using the “Helga” filter.


See how the colors changed, the edges darkened, and the photo was cropped? That took only seconds to do. And it’s super easy to use—just pick a photo,  and pick a filter. No fancy software know-how needed.

Just for fun, here are some of the other filters.












1974Try it out, but be careful: It can be a little addictive!

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Easy 4×6″ Layout

As fun as it is to print photos at different sizes, there’s something incredibly satisfying about scrapping your way through a pile of 4×6″ prints—especially when you can fit several onto one layout. I recently challenged myself to do just that, and created a simple two-page layout.


SOURCES Cardstock: Archivers. Patterned paper: Jenni Bowlin Studio. Stickers: Studio Calico.


photos: six horizontal 4×6″

cardstock: white

paper: one pattern

other: letter stickers

1 Arrange your photos in a grid across two 12×12″ white cardstock sheets.

2 Trim a sheet of decorative patterned paper in half. Format and print journaling on each half, leaving room for the title.

3 Adhere the patterned paper to the cardstock, as shown, then finish the design with a letter sticker title.

Need more 4×6″ inspiration? Check out these sketches!


SBE Sketch 110


SBE Sketch 005


SBE Sketch 008


SBE Sketch 037

What size photos do you usually scrap with?

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